Using your mobile overseas can lead to some unexpected and very expensive bills upon your return. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you reduce the risk of post-holiday bill shock.

Keep your data turned off

The cost of data usage overseas is extremely high, costing upwards of $3 to load a single page. If you have your cellular data, 3G and data roaming turned off for the duration of your trip, you will ensure you do not spend a fortune on data costs.
For increased peace of mind, you can also turn off location services, push notifications and updates to avoid any unnecessary costs.

Use Wi-Fi

Many hotels, cafes and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi to their patrons. Using Wi-Fi is safe way to keep in touch with friends and family, without running the risk of data usage.

Buy data before you go

If you don’t want to rely on Wi-Fi for your internet needs, you can purchase international roaming packs from your Australian carrier before you go.
Most major carriers such as Optus, Telstra and Vodafone offer international roaming packs where you can pay a flat rate for a specific amount of time or data.
It is important to remember that even with data packs and usage tracking, it is easy to go over your cap. Try to avoid using websites such as Skype, YouTube and music streaming websites as they take up a lot of data. If you wish to use such sites, it is recommended that you stick to Wi-Fi hotspots.

Buy a local prepaid SIM

Buying a local SIM card is a cheaper alternative to using your Australian SIM card.
While internet access and texts will be cheaper, it is important that you remember to get your mobile unlocked from your network before you go.
If you do choose to use your Australian SIM card to send text messages, it is worth checking with your provider how much a text will cost to send. The price of sending a text message can differ from country to country, so it is worth investigating prices before you leave.

Hayden McMaster